Well, Rory the cat won't have to worry about giving up one of his nine lives, and it is all because of blood donated by a dog. Specifically, Macy, a Labrador Retriever. Yes, that is correct: A member of the species known for terrorizing cats submitted enough blood for a transfusion to save the dying feline.
It is unclear if the donation was given under duress...
Yahoo Shine reported Aug. 23 that Rory the cat had ingested some rat poison and was rushed to a New Zealand veterinarian. However, vet Kate Heller had no cat blood on hand and no access to a lab to test blood for a possible match. With the cat's chances of living fading by the second, Heller sought advice and was told to try dog's blood. She had never heard of such a procedure, hadn't ever read about it in a textbook, but she took the idea to the cat's owner, Kim Edwards.
Edwards called upon a friend who owned an 18-month Labrador Retriever named Macy. She agreed to allow the dog's donation.
The transfusion of 120 ml worked.
Heller admitted, "It was one of those situations that it was a do-or-die. So, he would have died if we did nothing."
Edwards noted that three weeks after the emergency transfusion, Rory seems to be back to his normal self. "He is not out fetching the newspaper or peeing on power poles or barking yet!" she laughed in an interview with New Zealand's 3 News. "He is just the normal cat that we have - playful, friendly."
Inter-species blood transfusions between dogs and cats have been successfully attempted only a few times, as is noted by Dr. Arnold Plotnik in his blog "Cat Man Do."
As Sky News reports, experts note the blood transfusion procedure is rare and dangerous and has severe limitations. Since cats have no natural antibodies to reject dog blood, transfusions are performed in extreme circumstances in order to give the cat time to generate healthy red blood cells. However, only a single transfusion can be performed as the cat's blood develops antibodies to dog's blood through the single donation. A second round of blood or a second transfusion would kill the recipient.